Provides a clear description of all key aspects of the health care system to make it easier for the reader to evaluate the potential impact of proposals for health care reform. Using case studies and simplified presentations of major issues, this book gives the reader an appreciation of the dilemma confronting policy makers, providers, and patients: how to balance cost, quality, and access. It examines specific health care organization aspects such as the medical profession, hospitals, managed care organizations, and government health care programs. It also discusses policy changes that have had major impacts on American health care in the past decade. For health care providers, policy makers, consumers and others interested in health care in the U.S.